If the subsidy is abolished, students and their families will face an eight per cent increase in the price of their textbooks from July 2004.
Stott Despoja has launched a national petition to save the Scheme and has tabled a Private Member’s Bill which would ensure the Scheme continued, and the PIAA is urging all its members to sign the petition.
So far, Senator Stott Despoja’s Private Member’s Bill has support from the Australian Vice-Chancellors Committee, National Tertiary Education Union, National Union of Students, Australian Publishers Association, Australian Booksellers Association, Australian Campus Booksellers Association, Australian Society of Authors, Australian Medical Students Association, the PIAA and others.
Philip Andersen, PIAA acting CEO, says the scheme was launched as part of the Governments’ commitment not to tax education when it introduced the GST.
“Removing the Subsidy is the same as imposing a tax on education and will have a flow on effect to the Australian book printing industry,” Anderson says.
Stott Despoja says the campaign to save the scheme had only just begun.
“The Government has not seen the end of this issue,” she says.
Senator Stott Despoja’s Private Member’s Bill, the Textbook Subsidy Bill 2003, is available at: http://parlinfoweb.aph.gov.au/piweb/repository/legis/bills/linked/18060302.pdf
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